photo by Mait Jüriado (Flickr Creative Commons)

The autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain has banned bullfighting by a vote of 68 to 55 with 9 abstentions in the Catalonian parliament.

The vote was brought on by a petition organized by the animal rights campaign Prou! (‘Enough!’) and signed by 180,000 people, who believe the practice to be barbaric and outmoded, though there may have also been a bit of Catalonian nationalism involved.

From a BBC News report:

But while the official debate is over animal rights, many believe this process is an attempt by nationalist-minded Catalans to mark their difference from the rest of Spain by rejecting one of its best known traditions.

Well, fine. Let Catalonia be known for Barcelona and Salvador Dalí rather than for absurdly macho morons skewering young bulls with a sword.

Catalonia is the second region in Spain to ban bullfights – after the Canary Islands – and the first on the Spanish mainland. The practice remains legal in Spain’s other 15 autonomous communities as well as in Portugal, parts of France and in some Latin American countries.

Jose Rull, a member of parliament for the Catalonian Nationalist Party was quoted in an AFP/AP/Reuters report for what he stated during the bullfighting debate:

There are some traditions that can’t remain frozen in time as society changes. We don’t have to ban everything, but the most degrading things should be banned.

Graham Land

Additional resources:

Financial Times – Catalonia votes to ban bullfighting

Prou! (Popular Legislative Initiative for the abolition of bullfights) English website